Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

rein

[reyn]
See more synonyms for rein on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. Often reins. a leather strap, fastened to each end of the bit of a bridle, by which the rider or driver controls a horse or other animal by pulling so as to exert pressure on the bit.
  2. any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
  3. any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
  4. reins, the controlling or directing power: the reins of government.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
  2. to curb; restrain; control.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to obey the reins: a horse that reins well.
  2. to rein a horse or other animal.
Show More
Idioms
  1. draw rein, to curtail one's speed or progress; halt: The rider saw the snake and drew rein sharply.
  2. give rein to, to give complete freedom to; indulge freely: to give rein to one's imagination.Also give free rein to, give full rein to.
Show More

Origin of rein

1300–50; (noun) Middle English rene, reine, raine < Old French re(s)ne < Vulgar Latin *retina, noun derivative of Latin retinēre to hold back, retain; (v.) Middle English rainen, reinen, derivative of the noun
Related formsrein·less, adjectiveun·reined, adjective
Can be confusedrain reign rein

Synonyms for rein

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

reins

[reynz]
plural noun
  1. the kidneys.
  2. the region of the kidneys, or the lower part of the back.
  3. (especially in Biblical use) the seat of the feelings or affections, formerly identified with the kidneys.
Show More

Origin of reins

before 1000; Middle English reines, reenes < Old French reins; compare Old English (once) rēnys; both < Latin rēnēs kidneys, loins (plural); cf. renal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rein

curb, restrict, suppress, repress, restriction, deterrent, line, governor, strap, harness, bridle, brake, bit, hold, check, halter, compose, halt, smother, collect

Examples from the Web for rein

Contemporary Examples of rein

Historical Examples of rein

  • He gathered in the rein until he had it six inches from the bit.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • To use the one rein meant a crash into the rail, and surely death.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Then he wiped the rein with his coat tail and looked at it admiringly.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Throbbing with a grateful, craving allegiance, I seized the rein.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • The first thing that occurred to him was to free Mukhorty's leg from the rein.

    Master and Man

    Leo Tolstoy


British Dictionary definitions for rein

rein

noun
  1. (often plural) one of a pair of long straps, usually connected together and made of leather, used to control a horse, running from the side of the bit or the headstall to the hand of the rider, driver, or trainer
  2. a similar device used to control a very young child
  3. any form or means of controlto take up the reins of government
  4. the direction in which a rider turns (in phrases such as on a left (or right) rein, change the rein)
  5. something that restrains, controls, or guides
  6. give free rein or give a free rein to allow considerable freedom; remove restraints
  7. keep a tight rein on to control carefully; limitwe have to keep a tight rein on expenditure
  8. on a long rein with the reins held loosely so that the horse is relatively unconstrained
  9. shorten the reins to take up the reins so that the distance between hand and bit is lessened, in order that the horse may be more collected
Show More
verb
  1. (tr) to check, restrain, hold back, or halt with or as if with reins
  2. to control or guide (a horse) with a rein or reinsthey reined left
Show More
See also rein in

Word Origin for rein

C13: from Old French resne, from Latin retinēre to hold back, from re- + tenēre to hold; see restrain

xref

See reign

reins

pl n
  1. archaic the kidneys or loins
Show More

Word Origin for reins

C14: from Old French, from Latin rēnēs the kidneys
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rein

n.

c.1300, "strap fastened to a bridle," from Old French rene, resne "reins, bridle strap, laces" (Modern French rêne), probably from Vulgar Latin *retina "a bond, check," back-formation from Latin retinere "hold back" (see retain). To give something free rein is originally of horses.

Show More
v.

c.1300, from rein (n.). Figurative extension "put a check on" first recorded 1580s. Related: Reined; reining. To rein up "halt" (1550s) is from the way to make a horse stop by pulling up on the reins.

Show More

reins

n.

see rein (n.). Figurative sense "means of controlling; control, check, restraint" is from early 14c.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rein in Medicine

reins

(rānz)
pl.n.
  1. The kidneys, loins, or lower back.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with rein

rein

see draw in the reins; free hand (rein) tight rein on.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.